Tuesday, October 27, 2015

2015 NLCS Mets @Cubs • Game 4 • METS N.L.CHAMPS! ARE YOU READY!!!

The game four MFC NLCS Cards.

New York came into game four only needing one win to advance. Sitting at a 3-0 advantage, all they had to do was win one of four games, should it go that far. All Mets fans had to be giddy with delight. 

I might get giddy in this post. I might get locked in an instantaneous nickname loop. Anything's possible in this, the year of the future Mets, 2015.

The weather was much milder than it was in New York. As one would expect, Wrigley Field was packed to the gills. As a fan of baseball I have to say that it is a beautiful sight seeing Wrigley all dressed up for postseason baseball.

Rookie pitcher Steven Matz would be on the mound for the Mets. The fresh faced rookie debuted on June 28th and made baseball history by smacking 3 hits and driving in 4 runs. He was the winning pitcher that day, and ended the season with a nice 4-0 record. More details on the Let's Go Matz page.

Jason Hammel would be the Cubs starter. It would have been either Hammel or Jon Lester on short rest. All Mets fans would rather see Hammel as opposed to Lester. The tall right hander was 10-7 during the season with a 3.74 ERA. Not exactly threatening. But many times we have seen average pitchers suddenly get very acey vs. the Mets. So there was always that.

But I needn't have feared. The Mets came out of the gate as they have throughout this NLCS. New York scored in every first inning of every game. They also scored a run against the Dodgers in game 5 of the NLDS, so they have achieved this in 5 postseason games in a row. Pretty cool.

Curtis Granderson started it by lining a sharp single to left.

David Wright and Daniel Murphy were both quick outs and then the Mets were off and running again. Granderson took off for second and made it easily. Yoenis Cespedes worked out a 6 pitch walk, bringing up the ice cold Lucas Duda. I was hoping the milder weather would thaw him out because we need Duda doing what he does best, which is hitting balls a country mile.

And amazingly Duda delivered. He launched a shot to center that landed around 10 rows deep into the bleachers for a three run country mile dingeroonio!

The Mets had a three run lead before the Cubs even came to bat! Duda hits in bunches so I saw this as an excellent sign and hoped he was out of his slump.

All this talk about the prediction made in "Back To The Future II" that the Cubs would win the World Series in 2015 was a very interesting side show. And I did worry that maybe there was something to it. The Cubs making the playoffs was enough to make you wonder, and I'll have to admit that if the Mets didn't make the post I would have been rooting for the Cubs. But Lucas Duda was having none of that.

We had hardly recovered from celebrating Duda's blast when Travis followed up with his own. Lil' d' deposited a Hammel pitch into the right centerfield bleachers. And he knew he got it all! The Mets were up 4-0 in the 1st! Holy crapoli!

The last time the Mets went back 2 back in the postseason was in the 1988 NLCS. The Strawman (Darryl Strawberry) & The Country Boy (Kevin McReynolds) did it in game four.

So already up 4-0, what a nice relaxing cushion. I mean for us fans. Not for the team. I didn't want them letting up. This was Wrigley Field where balls go to fly away so no one was gonna get too cocky.

There was more excitement in the first inning. Spiralling Cub pitcher Hammel hit Super-Rook Michael Conforto with a pitch down around his ankles. The Phenomenal Crying Man, Wilmer Flores (I'm always throwing nicknames out there but they never stick. I wonder why...), hit a dunker to left that looked to be playable.  But balls off of Wilmer Flores's bat were doing crazy things. Going up into walls and stuff. And, not to mention, Kyle Schwarber was an adventure out there in left.

..third time I've mentioned it.
The Lumbering Ox, Kyle Schwarber, came in on it and poorly lunged in the direction of the ball. That's the only way I can describe it. Badly misjudged, the ball hit him in the wrist, kinda confirming the fact that it should have been caught.

He was able to kick it too, and it was a kick save. If that one went back to the wall Conforto, who was denied yesterday, would have scored easily. Well, if it didn't go up into the ivy that is. But he kicked it and it dribbled a few feet away and Cubs shortstop Baez was able to get the ball back in.

So Super-Rook was denied again and had to settle for third base. The Phenomenal Crying Man was safe at first on the error. But he wasn't settling for that. He stole second base! His old nickname, before the tears, was Flat Feets. So I did not expect Flat Feets to be stealing any bases. But there he was, swishing in under a high throw from catcher The Other David Ross (that's his nickname because I really know a David Ross and it ain't him, who from now on I'll have to call The Real David Ross. Oy!).

Cubs shortstop Javier Beany Baez jumped high to grab the throw and came down on Wilmers head pretty hard. But Flores didn't cry. He was rattled and needed a few minutes to gain his composure, but The Phenomenal Crying Man didn't cry. Wilmer can withstand physical pain, no problem. Emotional pain? Meh,..<insert hand gesture here>.. so-so.

I was hoping for more fireworks, because we all know Mr. Matz can hit. And he almost provided it. He got good wood (<I didn't do that) on the ball and hit a liner to opposite field,  down in the right field corner. But there are big corners in Wrigley and Jorge Soler was able to track it down for the third out.

All the cards above deal with the Mets first inning only, how about that! The Mets bat around in the first inning of a deciding playoff game and put 4 runs on the board! You couldn't wish for a better start. Well, you could, but let's not be greedy bastages. We got Steven Mr. Matz. The kid had a nice 1-2-3 inning that included a well navigated strikeout of The Big Guy, Kris Bryant.

In the second inning David Wright led off with a walk and that was all Cubs manager Smartypants Madden could take. He whipped out his hook and Hammel the Camel was outta there. The Metsies had knocked out the Cubbies starter in the 2nd! This was going well.

Travis Too Easy Wood came on for the Cubs to control The Fightin Irishman Daniel Murphy (okay, I'll stop). But you can't control Daniel Murphy. Can't contain him most of the time lately either, but Murphs just a pure hitter and he totally ripped a line drive single over short. Wood got Cespedes with a K, and that brought on Lucas Duda. With a shifted infield and a full count (just the one more. I swear) The LumberJack got Wood with a wicked drive past Cubs shifted shortstop Starlin Castro that was hit so freakin' hard it found the gap in right center! Shift schmift!

Both Wright and Murphy raced around the bases to score and Duda pulled up at second with a two RBI double.  The dude (?.......nah) had driven in 5 runs in the first two innings! Pretty awesome.

And that was pretty much the game right there. I know it was Wrigley, but Steven Matz was holding Chicago hitless and this became a game you could just sit back and relax for a bit.

Matz didn't give up a hit until the 4th and that seemed to break the spell that he was in. The Cubs squeezed out a run with a double, walk, single, and groundout by The Adventurous Kyle Schwarber. SuperMatz got out of it without further damage. In the 5th he got two fast outs but then hit a wall. After back to back Cub singles Mets manager Terry Shortypants Collins went to the well. He took the ball from the young hand of Steven Matz and put it in the aged hand of Bartolo The Old Man Colon.

All The Old Man did was strike out The Big Guy and end the inning.

I know I'm having fun at expense of Kyle Schwarber. But I gotta say I like the guy. He's a Cub clubber. But if a Mets player had the same kinda game I'd be doing the same thing. I'm an equal opportunity abuser.

I mean, look at this picture from game one.
In the field he may be The Lumbering Ox,
but at the plate I'd call him Bruiser. And I wouldn't call him The Lumbering Ox to his face.

Cubs fans, Mets fans have gone through this with both Daniel Murphy & Lucas Duda. Both could hit but were a nightmare in the outfield. Schwarber will either improve or become a first baseman. Can Rizzo play anywhere else?

What would make this game go from freakin' awesome to FREAKIN' AWESOME! would be one of them there, Murphy homers.


He did it again. An NLCS performance like this from a Metropolitan! Muffy had 4 hits, scored twice and drove in two.
He's been a hitting machine. Keep it up Danny Boy!

Seeing Travis take one off his hands was very distressing, and I really thought, no way was that not bad. I had a horrible moment of dread when I thought it was broken but he waved off the trainer real quick and took first. He stayed in the game and I think broken hand or not, nothing was going to take Travis d'Arnaud, The Invincible Man (....no?)out of the line-up. I hope there are no lingering effects from this.

I'll have to change his nickname.

Yea, The Big Guy Kris Bryant smacked one out. That's why they call him The Big Guy. And by they I mean me.
It was a nice poke too. This guy is going to be some hitter, and with major power. Pull his rookie cards, or whatever you pull when you get excited about a player. His swing reminds of, dare I say it, Dave Kingman. But this guy will hit, not just homers.

I have to commend the fans behind home plate. This picture above is a little bit before the last out of the game. Look at the crowd. Only around 20 people are viewing this historical event through the lens of a mobile device. The majority are watching with their own two eyes. Kudos to those who actually witnessed that last out.

Met celebrations are the best, and especially postseason ones. This one was a cross between The Orosco Prayer and The Grote Jump.

This resulted in THE BUMP.

The MVP.
I mean, what can I say? I remember following Mattingly's 8 game HR streak back '88 through news reports and box scores. I saw the torrid hot streak Carlos Beltran had in the postseason in 2004, but this, out of The Fightin' Irishman, has been simply incredible. And I don't think he's through.
And with him, this ain't about the money. It's about hitting and discovering "lift". I hope he enjoys his new toy and "lifts" another 6 out in The Big Show. Ya know, with all these play-off levels now I'm going to have to change that to The Really Big Shew

The Celebration

If I had more time Id make .gifCards out of these, and I still might after the Met win the World Series.

Bring on the Royals.
You know how hot Duda can get. Imagine that in the World Series!

I'm serious. All of us collectively imagine it and then send your vibes to Kansas City. Lucas Duda will be big!

Bring on the Royals.
 Murphy's going to keep it going because he lives for hitting and he lives for the World Series. He lives for this.

The pitching will be magnificent.

The Captain is going to do a lot of this.

Bring 'em on.

Photography by 
Elsa, David Goldman, David J. Phillip, Dennis Wierzbicki, John Munson, Jon Durr, Jonathan Daniel, David Banks

.Gifs by TheGifGuy @tumblr

Oh, and somehow Cuddy's going to earn his oates.